The Give & Grub food truck

June 17, 2015

Here in Tampa, everyone has been pretty excited about one thing – Lightning hockey. The team made it to the Stanley Cup, but ended up coming up short in the 6th game. Tampa did an amazing job hosting such an event, especially at Amalie Arena. If you were there for any of the games, you probably saw a distinguishable food truck – Give & Grub!

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The Laser Spine Institute partnered with the Tampa Bay Lighting, Metropolitan Ministries, and Feeding American Tampa Bay to create the Give & Grub food truck. Their goal is to “Stick it To Hunger” by giving one meal to underprivileged children in the Tampa Bay area for every meal the truck sells. Currently, the truck has sold over 75,000 meals – all of which had a meal donated into the Tampa community. I really believe this is a great initiative and something for the city to be proud of. A local company is partnering with a local sports team and local charities to make a difference in the local community. Pretty amazing, right?

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When I was asked to come give a few meals at the truck a try, I couldn’t resist. I work down the street from The Laser Spine Institute, where the truck is every Thursday, so it was very simple to get to. Even better, Meghann and I work in the same building, so we made a lunch date out of it! Heyyyyy Baby R!

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We each were able to try 3 different items, which was way tougher than I expected! There are so many tasty items to choose from, all named after Lightning players. Each entree is $9, which for gourmet food, is very reasonable.

Give & Grub Tampa MenuI ended up with the Chicken Parmkos sandwich, the Bishop bowl, and the Cooper’s candied burger. I opted to eat the burger all at once for my actual lunch, and I am so glad I did! It was absolutely delish and I was surprised at the portion size – it was very generous, as were all of the entrees. The sweet potato fries were really yummy and I loved the pumpernickel bread the burger came on. It spruced up the burger with such a minimal change from the norm.

Give & Grub burgerI was sure to taste the other entrees as well, but did end up taking them home for dinner. I just couldn’t have a few bites of each and be done with it. I had to make sure I ate each one, and was able to really enjoy it. The  Chicken Parmkos sandwich was incredible. I wouldn’t normally order chicken parmesan, but I am so glad I did. The flavor was great and the sandwich was HUGE!

Give and Grub chicken Parmkos

Last but not least, the Bishop bowl was good, but it wasn’t my favorite. The shrimp was yummy, but the rice itself was somewhat unimpressive. This entree did have a tofu option though, so for vegetarians, this would be a good choice.

Give & Grub bishop bowl

If you aren’t close to Laser Spine’s headquarters or aren’t able to make any of the Give & Grub food truck’s scheduled stops, you can actually request the truck to come to your place of business. It’s a pretty easy way to get an awesome lunch, and to help feed hungry kids in Tampa Bay.

Another really important note I want to mention is you can participate without having to actually purchase a meal. Just tweet out the #giveandgrub hastag, and a meal will be donated. It’s that easy!

Did anyone see the Give & Grub food truck out at Tampa Bay Lightning games? If so, did you give it a try?

The Friends Episode Treadmill Workout

June 15, 2015
Friends Treadmill Workout

I was talking to a friend over the weekend and he mentioned when running inside on a treadmill, his preference is to watch a tv show. It helps to keep your mind off of what you are doing and makes the time go by. Yea, of course, right?

Then he added in that during the commercials, he changes up his workout. He will add in an incline, a sprint, maybe a little bit a both – you get the picture. This got me to thinking what my preference would be for a tv show for a quick, lunch time workout where I can probably only squeeze in a 30 minute sitcom.

Friends is the first show to jolt to the top of my list! The average show is 22 minutes long (thank you Netflix), which will end up giving you a solid 8 minutes of hard work, on top of the actual episode. Take it up a notch, and think about common occurrences that consistently happen throughout many episodes.

Check out this workout the next time you hanging with Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and of course, Joey. Start off by doing an easy warmup to get your muscles ready to go. In between intervals, continue to jog and lower your heart rate. If you need to walk to lower your heart rate, please do so.

Friends Treadmill WorkoutWhat common episode occurrences would you add to the list?

Lake Eola in Orlando

May 29, 2015

Last weekend, we made the 2 hour drive to Daytona Beach to go visit Marcus’ dad. We headed out Sunday morning, and returned first thing Monday morning to miss the holiday weekend traffic. Grant decided he didn’t feel like napping and he would rather cry some big crocodile tears, so we made a detour to Lake Eola in the heart of downtown Orlando.

Since we both went to UCF in Orlando, we had been to Lake Eola many times for different events. However, we’d never just gone on a whim, and definitely not to entertain a toddler. It was the perfect spot! We hit up the park for a few minutes when we first got there.

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Grant ran around a little bit, but quickly headed for the lake as soon as he was aware it was there. Not only is there a big lake, but it has a large fountain with all kinds of geese around it as well.

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Grant loved looking at the geese and ducks, as they really aren’t scared of people. We didn’t get too crazy close though – being they are so used to people, I wasn’t a fan of Grant getting too close. He trusts animals because of Winnie, so I think a little distance is a good thing.

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We only stayed for about 25 minutes or so, but it was the perfect amount of time for Grant to burn off some energy to sit in the car for another 90 minutes.

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I have a feeling we are going to be making this pitstop a regular occurrence when we go to visit Grant’s grandpa.

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Anyone else break up trips with fun stops in the middle for the kiddos?

Legs For Days Workout

May 27, 2015

A problem so many people make is working out their upper body, but not working out their legs. Or, thinking running is the only workout you need to do for your lower half. Welp, you guessed it – those people are wrong! Lifting with your legs is incredibly important to make large gains in your entire body. Here is a tough leg workout that will you leave you shaking after completion!

Legs For Days Workout

The 2015 Cleveland Half Marathon

May 22, 2015

Our alarms went off way too early on Sunday morning – 4:30am! Neither Emily or I slept well – not even a little bit – so getting up was actually a lot easier than I expected it to be. We had parking passes from one of Emily’s friends, but the caveat was we had to be in the garage by 6am – a full hour before the race actually started. We got downtown with plenty of time to spare, so we waited in the car for a few minutes and then headed to the start.

Cleveland Half Marathon

The start and finish were in different spots, with the start over by the Quicken Loans Arena. There were about a million port-o-potties right out front and little to no lines. Score! I literally used one before anyone else did – it was like a race day miracle!

Cleveland Half Marathon

We went to our corral and stood waiting for the gun to go off. Right about 10 minutes before we crossed the start line, it started raining some pretty cold rain. Luckily, it didn’t last for all too long. The clouds cleared up and we were on our way.

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Like I mentioned in my race expo post, this half marathon was Emily’s very first one. We signed up well before Thanksgiving for the race, so Emily had a great amount of time to train. I made her a 14 week training plan and she followed it to a T! She was definitely ready for this race.

With the rain came a very muggy day, especially for Cleveland. The first few miles were still pretty cool, but the day was quickly warming up. We had some pretty good cloud cover for a pretty good portion, but every time the sun came, it got hot pretty darn fast. I’m used to the heat due to our toasty Florida days, but for the runners from Ohio, they had a huge temperature swing. They had days in the 40’s and 50’s just a few days prior, so I was definitely feeling for them, my sister included!

The course kept us on the westside of the city through some really neat neighborhoods – Tremont, Ohio City, and Lakewood to name a few.

Cleveland Half Marathon Course Map

The houses were pretty neat to look at and there were some great supporters out as well.

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The first 10 miles of the course were pretty flat. We really just cruised through about mile 8. This was when it really started to get hot for Em. When I asked her thoughts about slowly starting to pick it up, I got a look that I immediately knew was not in favor of a faster pace. We kept running at our same pace with a handful of walk breaks here and there. The humidity was making it hard for Em to get deep breaths, so the walk breaks were a perfect time to get oxygen back in her lungs.

Cleveland Half Marathon Emily

The last 2-3 miles were definitely the toughest on the course. It was on the shoreway, a road that runs next to Lake Erie, which meant no cover from the elements. It was hot and humid, and there we actually multiple hills.

Cleveland Half Marathon

We really had to focus on climbing the hills and then using our momentum coming down to make up for some of the extra time. We grabbed plenty of fluids to refuel and just made our way closer and closer to the finish.

Cleveland Skyline

I’d say the best part of the course was the finish. We came off of the shoreway on a nice downhill, which led us right into downtown. We ran down what I’m pretty sure was Lakeside Avenue and the street was lined with people down the finisher’s chute. It really was a fun moment! Emily and I ran the whole race and finished in 2:01:09. She killed it!

Cleveland Half Marathon Finish

Running has always been such a huge part of my life. It was such an amazing privilege to be able to experience Emily’s first half marathon with her. It seemed like she really enjoyed it and we are even talking about doing more races together! Maybe she’s hooked!

As for the Cleveland Half Marathon – I definitely recommend it. The logistics were great and I loved the course and the amenities. I would love to cross the Cleveland full marathon off my list on a couple of years too. We shall see!